You probably recognize Caleb Ruminer as Crash, the brooding and handsome bad boy plucked from our teenage daydreams in MTV’s hit drama Finding Carter. Sneaking away between scenes on set, Ruminer was nice enough to chat with us and give us a behind-the-scenes look at the sweeter side of Crash. Yes, I’ve finally let go of the grudge I was holding from that time when—spoiler alert—Crash shot Max, and you can, too!
Cliché: So tell me what you were like as a kid. Were you always into entertaining?
Caleb Ruminer: I guess I was always trying to perform and entertain for my parents and friends. There was this time when I was 8 or 9 when my brother and I were sitting at the kitchen table and my mom had sparkling cider and we got in trouble because we were pretending to pour shots and be drunk.
We’ve all been there. I used to order ‘apple juice on the rocks’ at restaurants because I thought it made me sound more sophisticated!
That’s hilarious. I also had one friend who I would always play with around the neighborhood. We were always making up stories and pretending to be spies. I’ve always had a vivid imagination.
So once you took the plunge and went into the acting world, how did you hear about Finding Carter, and what made you want to be part of it?
Well, I got a breakdown of this bad boy character and I was like, “I think you were supposed to send this to someone else,” and they were like, “No, they like the way you look!” and so I went in and I loved it. I really loved my character; I connected to him right away. He’s a much deeper character than I expected. I sat with our showrunner, Terri Minsky, and we talked about Crash’s past and we both had the same idea about him. I figured he was missing his mother and that he didn’t really have a family. She was just like, “Well, looks like you know the character just as well as I do… and I wrote him!” You know, I was just throwing out ideas and in that moment I was just like, “Yeah, I want this.”
I feel like you’ve had the biggest character development over the course of the show so far. What’s that been like as an actor to go from being this tough bad boy who can’t be tamed to a more mild army guy?
That’s a great question actually. It’s been great. I think he has always been misunderstood rather than just being a bad person. He has a good heart and at first it was all about having good intentions, but not necessarily making the best decisions. When the gun went off, when Crash shot Max, that was the turning point. That is where he snapped and realized that he had really hurt someone while trying to help, although he was being selfish. So he kind of had that change of heart. Then I feel like the military really brought it all out where he had to start thinking about other people. The military has that code of honor where you don’t leave anyone behind; you’re always looking out for the person next to you rather than yourself.
I feel like there are so many crazy twists on this show; you never know where it’s going to go! Do you have any favorite arcs or storylines, not necessarily just with your character?
I was such a bandwagon fan with Taylor and Max; I loved that they got together really quick. I think because I wasn’t really involved in anyway. I also liked the first season dynamic between Carter’s parents—how they grew apart, the affair, and the drinking.
Yes, I love that relationship, too! Finding Carter was such an instant hit. Do you remember the first time you got recognized as Crash?
I have had a couple strange interactions. The first time anyone ever said anything to me about the show was when I went to Knott’s Berry Farm, which is a theme park in L.A., and someone took a picture and I was with one of my friends and he pointed at her and said, “She just took a picture of you!” Then they sent it to me on Instagram and you can see both of us. We were on a rollercoaster and I still had long hair then, so in the photo I’m pushing my hair back and my friend is looking over at her and we just look ridiculous! I had another one where this kid, who was probably 13 or 14, said, “I watch your show,” and I was really sick with strep throat, to the point where I was planning on going to the doctor the next day, and I was trying to back away from him so I didn’t get him sick. I ended up taking a picture with him and his whole group of friends and I was just like, “I’m so sorry, I cannot talk to you.” It was an awkward moment.
That’s a good one! So, do you have any other projects on the horizon, or are you just focusing on Finding Carter right now?
I’m kind of focused on Finding Carter right now. I don’t have anything solid right now; I have a few scripts that I’m reading, trying to see if the scheduling will work out, and if it does, then I will be happy to do those! But otherwise I’ve been writing a lot and trying to get my own production started up. I have a lot of friends who are actors in L.A. and I’d love to direct a stage play with them. Other than that, just getting ready for pilot season in January!
Caleb Ruminer Interview: Photographer: Marc Cartwright, Groomer: Simone Franjd / Exclusive Artists